I had to learn the "fire twinkling" method (as described in the link) during school. Like any modality, some people swear by it.
I do think a good part of the success of China's athletes is due to TCM, an organized system of attempting to move the body towards a healthier place. This would be in contrast to Western sports medicine--I once saw a minor league catcher for his back pain, he said all the team docs were doing to manage his back pain was an MRI once a week--so he had to sneak around to get some "real care". Anything is better than that! Combine TCM with modern medicine (used judiciously and when needed) and they have a great approach.
I've since moved on to other modalities to treat pain and improve the health of tissue, mainly "cold" laser aka low intensity laser therapy. On the TCM note, I do actually treat specific acupuncture points with the lasers on a regular basis.